In the allegorical novel Hinds Feet On High Places, the character “Much Afraid” is promised sure-footed hind’s feet to replace her lame ones if she follows her beloved Shepherd to the far-away high mountains.
Along the way she learns she must trust the Shepherd’s promises to get through the difficult experiences she encounters. Each time she sets aside her fears and trusts his words, she collects a small stone to remember the experience. Each one is a plain stone, not remarkable in any way, yet they are precious to her because of the memories connected to them.
At the climax of her journey, there is one scene where she must decide if she really does trust the Shepherd’s promise to heal her lame feet and to make her sure-footed as a deer. She pulls out her bag of memorial stones as she battles with the temptation to throw the useless things away. But as she pulls them out, she remembers experiences she had one-by-one. She’s not sure she can fully trust them, but she isn’t willing to part with them so she puts them back into her bag.
Later, after receiving the fulfillment of the promises the Shepherd made, she sits with him, remembering her difficult journey. She again takes out her bag of memorial stones. This time, she gasps in amazement as precious jewels tumble from the bag. Because she took his promises to heart and kept them, even through her most trying time of doubt, they were transformed into the jewels she now possessed. The Shepherd takes each one and embeds it in a beautiful gold crown he has made for her. She shudders at the thought of how close she came to throwing them away.
Have you ever doubted the promises the Lord has given you? I know I have. But each time, I come back to the realization that I’ve never met anyone like him and I don’t want to live my life without his presence or his promises – even if I can’t always see their fulfillment now. It’s a daily process, learning to trust all that he has said to me, but like Much Afraid, I can’t bear to toss his promises aside.
I’d like to encourage you to believe his words for yourself. but that’s a choice you’ll have to make.
Father, thank you for the precious words and promises you speak to my heart. I look forward to their ultimate fulfillment in eternity! Amen.